Animals provide many benefits to people. However, some animals can carry diseases that can be shared with people. Zoonotic diseases or zoonoses are diseases caused by germs (pathogens) that can be spread between animals and humans. These germs have been responsible for illnesses and outbreaks.
Zoonotic diseases can cause many different illnesses in people. Gastrointestinal (enteric) zoonoses are one type of illness that can upset the digestive system (stomach and intestines) and can make people sick.
About 1.8 million children under the age of 5 die each year from diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, the top two killers of young children around the world. (CDC Statistic about Hand washing)